Share This Page

Hoops rivals are diamond all-star teammates

| Sunday, June 8, 2014, 12:11 a.m.
Dan Speicher | For Valley News Dispatch
Plum's first baseman Nick Stotler reaches for a throw to tag out Baldwin's Alex Pantuso in the first inning Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Plum. Baldwin won 12-6.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Riverview's Dom Conte reacts to scoring during the seventh inning of a WPIAL Class A second-round playoff game Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Conte will take part in a WPIAL All-Star game Sunday, June 8, 2014.

The last time Kiski Area's Ryan Sciullo and Plum's Nick Stotler played in the same game, it was during the WPIAL basketball playoffs and a heated first-round matchup came down to a pivotal play that involved both players.

Coaches and players agreed Sciullo's “flop” after he was bumped by Stotler late in the game turned the tide for Kiski Area on the way to a 50-40 win.

Neither player flopped during this past baseball season. Both shined for their teams. And they've moved past their hoops encounter to become teammates in Sunday's WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game.

They'll play for the Class AAAA team against Class AAA at 4 p.m. at Butler's Kelly Automotive Park. The Class AA all-stars face Class A at 1 p.m.

Sciullo and Stotler are two of 13 Alle-Kiski Valley players selected to play in the games.

Kiski Area and Plum were supposed to play a non-section baseball game, but it was canceled because of rain.

“We left it on the court,” Sciullo said of the basketball run-in with Stotler. “We've been playing against each other since Little League. It doesn't seem like anything now.

“You want to enjoy the experience (of an all-star game) but you also want to show that you deserve to be an all-star.”

Sciullo, an outfielder, led Kiski Area with a .433 batting average and 20 runs scored. He has committed to play at Washington & Jefferson.

Stotler will play at Coker College (S.C.).

“I think we got over all of that,” Stotler said of the hoops situation. “I mean, it's tough to get over because we lost. But hey, he was smarter than me at that moment.

“This game is one of those things where you want to have fun, but if you do well it's a plus.”

Stotler, who hit .333 with 12 RBIs, was selected as a second baseman, but saw time at just about every position but that one for Plum. He's played first base, third base and outfield.

“I haven't played second since my sophomore year,” Stotler said with a laugh.

Blackhawk star pitcher Brendan McKay, who has become the talk of the WPIAL this season, is scheduled to play for the Class AAA team. Sciullo and Stotler embrace the chance to face the fire-balling left-hander.

“I faced him once before, in an East Coast showcase,” Stotler said. “I grounded out to second. He's tough.”

It will be a “double-play” for four other local teams, all of which have a pair of representatives in the games.

Knoch has Caleb Thorn and Zach Junk on the Class AAA team, while Deer Lakes' Matt Olesnevich and Todd Coleman, along with Freeport's Noah Shannon and Matt Swartz are on Class AA.

Class A has Riverview's Jason Anthony and Dom Conte, and St. Joseph's Joey Luciana and Sam Thimons.

Springdale's Alex Demonte also is on the Class A roster.

“I just want to enjoy the moment of playing one last high school game with a friend that I've been competing with my whole life,” Coleman said.

Anthony looks forward to one last game with Conte.

“I've known Dom since elementary school and we've been playing together since then, so it's pretty cool we get to end our high school careers together,” he said.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.